At GC Buzz, Hilary expressed her displeasure to Devon after he replaced her with Mariah as the show's host. Hilary deliberately rattled an already nervous Mariah. Hilary told Mariah that an upcoming show, an interview about Chelsea's spring collection, would be streamed and aired live before millions of viewers. Hilary strutted past Mariah and Devon like a model on a runway and insisted that Mariah's appearance as host and fashion model would be a disaster. Devon disagreed with Hilary. Devon told Mariah that she wouldn't have to model one of Chelsea's creations if she didn't feel comfortable in that role.
Hilary opened her notebook and listed aloud to Devon and Mariah the segment producer's outline of the show. Hilary explained that the host, in addition to leading the interview, would model an ensemble. Mariah said she would step in and follow the outline, including modeling one of Chelsea's creations. Hilary scoffed and predicted that Mariah would falter and become a laughingstock. Mariah seemed uneasy, but she attempted to hide her true feelings.
Privately, Hilary pleaded her case to Devon and insisted that he'd been wrong to fire her and replace her with Mariah. Hilary told Devon to rethink his decision, rehire her, and put her in charge of Chelsea's fashion show. Mariah interrupted Devon and Hilary. Mariah said, "Devon, I've got this. I'm not going to let you down. I'm actually looking forward to it." Devon agreed that Mariah had all the confidence she needed to succeed.
Sharon arrived pushing a rack of dresses hanging in zipped-up bags. Sharon noted that Chelsea and Chloe were parking and would arrive with additional fashion items for the show. Mariah announced that she would host the show and model one of the fashions. Sharon noted Hilary's grimace and replied, "Which explains why Hilary is looking at you like that." Sharon said she was grateful that Devon had fired Hilary.
Chloe and Chelsea entered the studio. Chloe and Chelsea met with the segment producer while Sharon showed Mariah the dress and high-heeled sandals she'd be modeling. Mariah examined the heels and cried, "Did I mention I have a fear of heights?" Sharon assured Mariah that she would be a great model, despite Mariah's misgivings. Mariah replied, "You have to say that. You're my mom."
After Chloe, Chelsea, Sharon, and Mariah went to the dressing area, Hilary held one of the sandals Mariah would be wearing in one hand and reached toward a box cutter with her other hand. Sharon returned, caught Hilary in the act, and said, "What are you doing?" Hilary claimed she was admiring the stylish footwear. Sharon didn't miss her opportunity to berate Hilary for twisting Dylan's words during an interview. Sharon added that Mariah's superior performance would make Hilary's audience forget she'd ever hosted the show.
Mariah emerged from the dressing room, wearing a flowing blue dress. Mariah carried her high-heeled sandals in her hand. Chloe and Chelsea had changed into dresses from the new collection, as well. Sharon helped Mariah into her shoes and gave her pointers about walking in heels. Hilary, grimacing, watched from a distance.
At Jabot, a worried Ashley told Jack their computer servers might not be equipped to handle the JabotGo app's popularity. Jack suggested that the company also consider expanding in other ways. Before Jack could expound on his idea for a new venture, a young computer programmer named Ravi showed up. Ashley introduced Ravi to Jack. Jack noted that the app Ashley had developed was in need of an upgrade. Ravi replied, "Well, the beauty of technology is that it can always be improved. Although some things are perfect the way they are." Ravi glanced at Ashley when he made his second remark, and Jack noticed.
Ravi sat down and opened his laptop. Ashley said, "Hooking and holding onto millennial mobile adapters, I mean, that's the key to building brand loyalty." Jack noticed that Ravi seemed enchanted with Ashley. Ravi said he'd already set up the app's code to accept improvements. Ravi rattled off a string of technical terms unfamiliar to Jack. Ashley impressed Ravi when she mentioned a man named Donald Knuth, a well-known pioneer of computer science. Ashley noted that together, she and Ravi would yield success.
After Ravi stepped out of the office, Jack hinted that Ravi was smitten with Ashley. Ashley laughed it off. Ashley insisted that Ravi was too young for her. Jack said that at least Ravi's infatuation with Ashley would serve Jabot well by keeping Ravi motivated. Jack brought up his proposed venture, which, he explained, involved a takeover of Fenmore's.
At Chancellor Park, Michael encountered Phyllis. Michael, noticing that Phyllis was wiping away tears, asked what was wrong. Phyllis replied, "There's nothing wrong I haven't caused." Michael pulled Phyllis toward him, and she rested her head on his shoulder. Phyllis tearfully announced that her relationship with Jack had ended. Phyllis berated herself for repeatedly hurting the men who'd treated her well.
Michael consoled Phyllis and suggested that love might still win out. Phyllis mentioned a kiss from Jack that had signaled the end. Phyllis noted that Michael and Lauren were lucky to have each other. Michael said he was concerned about Lauren. Michael explained that Lauren seemed to be struggling with business problems she hadn't fully explained to him. Phyllis said she'd developed an idea that might lead to renewed success for Lauren's business.
At Nick's tack house, Nick seemed to be struggling with his two children, housework, and preparations for Christmas. Summer stopped by with a personalized stocking for Christian. Summer noticed Faith's hand-drawn sign warning that strawberries were forbidden. Nick explained that Faith still felt somewhat responsible for Christian's allergic reaction to the fruit. After Nick learned that Faith had a book report to complete, he sent her upstairs to finish reading her book.
Summer mentioned to Nick that she was concerned about Phyllis. Summer explained that Phyllis seemed distraught, perhaps about her faltering relationship with Jack. Summer acknowledged that without their respective partners, she, Nick, and Phyllis were adrift. Nick said that Christian represented a sign of hope for them all. Summer asked Nick to visit Phyllis and offer comfort. Faith returned downstairs, and Summer offered to stay with the children while Nick was out.
In Phyllis' cramped office at Jabot, Nick stopped by. Nick told Phyllis that Summer had sent him to deliver a pep talk. Nick asked if Summer's suspicions about Jack ending his relationship with Phyllis were true. Phyllis said she'd likely ended it herself when she'd kissed Billy. Nick asked Phyllis if she still loved Jack. Phyllis said it no longer mattered because Jack had made it clear that they had no future together.
Phyllis turned her attention to her latest project and asked Nick to share his input. Nick glanced at the screen of Phyllis' laptop and said, "So you want to expand Fenmore's web presence." Nick noted that Fenmore's was an established institution. Phyllis replied, "Right, which is very good, very good, but it also could be bad if they are seen as a dinosaur." Nick agreed that consumers no longer shopped the way they had.
Phyllis told Nick that her transformative plan would drive business back to Fenmore's. Nick praised Phyllis' plan. Nick noted that Phyllis had been a webmaster well before most people were familiar with the term. Hoping that her idea might be a great success, Phyllis said, "Might be my ticket out of this shoebox." Phyllis leaned toward Nick and gave him a warm hug.
Jack and Ashley continued their conversation about plans to take over Fenmore's Department Store. Jack cited the store's mounting debt as a weakness that would work to his advantage. Jack added that he'd already broached the subject in a roundabout way to Phyllis. Jack said he didn't believe Phyllis would stay at Jabot, so she wouldn't pose a problem. Ashley seemed uneasy about Jack's plans.
Ashley expressed her misgivings to Jack because Lauren was their friend. Jack said, "Getting Fenmore's would be such a coup. Think about it -- an established, respected chain under the Jabot umbrella." Phyllis approached Jack's office and overheard Jack and Ashley's conversation through an open door. Phyllis heard Jack say, "Femore's is ripe for the taking. Without much risk to our bottom line, we could have that company, but we have to move, and move fast."
At Crimson Lights, Michael joined Kevin. Over hot cocoa, Kevin proposed a toast to Michael and Lauren's wedding anniversary. Michael suggested that Kevin and Chloe might someday celebrate their own anniversary. Kevin recalled that he'd almost ruined Chloe's plan to move in with him after he'd begun packing up her belongings without first seeking permission. Michael noted that Kevin had invaded Chloe's privacy. Kevin explained that Chloe's overt reaction had surprised him, nonetheless. Kevin added that the best part of his day was arriving home to Chloe and Bella.
After Michael left, Summer joined Kevin. Summer asked Kevin how Mariah had reacted after Chloe and Bella had moved into his place with him. Kevin said he and Mariah would maintain their friendship. Kevin announced that Mariah was about to appear live on television. Kevin and Summer smiled as they prepared to watch a live stream of GC Buzz on Kevin's tablet.
Nick returned home. Faith quickly hid her electronic tablet and opened her book. Christian, in care of their babysitter, could be heard crying upstairs. Nick rushed upstairs to check on Christian. When Nick returned, Faith was engrossed in the fashion show on GC Buzz. Faith pointed to the television screen and proudly announced that Mariah was hosting the program. Nick paused to watch.
Mariah greeted her audience after the broadcast commenced and introduced Chelsea and Chloe. Chelsea spoke a few words about her line before the first model emerged. Chloe talked about fashion trends for spring before a second model walked onto the stage, wearing a coral-colored romper. Hilary glared at Mariah as Mariah modeled her ensemble. Mariah walked down the runway, but when she turned to walk the other way, she stumbled and fell forward. Mariah briefly lifted her head and saw a blurry image of Hilary in the distance. Mariah seemed to lose consciousness, and her head fell against the floor again.
Mariah's fall goes viral
Lily arrived at home, where Cane greeted her with kisses. She observed that he was happy to see her, and he proclaimed that he felt alive, and he asked if she felt the same way. She wondered if he'd worked out again, and he informed her that he'd completed back-to-back physical therapy sessions. Cane added that he'd had doubts about Jessica, but Lily had been right, since it had felt like magic when Jessica's hands had touched his body. Lily's expression soured.
Cane gushed about Jessica's incredible hands, and he went into details about how Jessica had worked his lower extremities, starting with his feet and toes. Lily complained that he'd never let his own wife near his feet because they were ticklish, and Cane recounted that Jessica had started with his toes and worked her way to his calves and thighs. Lily declared that he was a jerk for trying to get a rise out of her, and Cane realized that it had been working. He teased that he and Jessica would be doing deep muscle stimulation the next time, and Lily went to shower without him.
Later, Cane sat hunched over his computer, but Lily clucked that there was to be no more work, since it was time for his treatment. Without looking up, he insisted that he had to finish a report, but she insisted that it was the doctor's orders. He discovered that she was wearing nothing more than a short, white jacket, and he greeted "Dr. Ashby" and amorously remarked that he hadn't known she made house calls. She told him to be a good boy or he wouldn't get his lollipop, and she asked if he'd been enjoying his therapy sessions. Lily reminded him of who really took care of him, and Cane promised not to forget.
Lily reported that Cane was running a fever, and she seductively recommended treatment with muscle stimulation. She pawed his chest and detected a rapid heartbeat, and she purred that it had to be from all the stimulation, so she recommended a full body scan. He said it sounded painful, and she replied that she had something for the pain. She removed her jacket to reveal sexy lingerie underneath, and they kissed passionately.
After Cane and Lily had sex on the couch, he declared that it had been the best checkup he'd ever had. She asked if he was feeling better, and he called her a miracle worker. She inquired how many times a week he'd been seeing Jessica, and she thought he should double it, since the sessions were working. Lily assumed that he was feeling better despite not using painkillers, and she thought both Jessica and Cane should keep up whatever they'd been doing.
During a live broadcast of GC Buzz, Mariah remained motionless on the floor after a nasty fall on the red carpet. Chloe stopped Sharon from rushing to Mariah's side and suggested that they wait and see what Mariah did, since the cameras were still rolling. Mariah groggily grabbed the microphone and struggled to her feet, and she dryly declared that it had been fun. A disheveled Mariah gave the audience directions on where to find Chelsea's dresses, and she told them to keep on buzzing.
At the tack house, Faith asked Nick if the tumble was part of the show, and Nick reasoned that unexpected things were part of the fun of doing live television. Faith commented that Mariah's spill hadn't looked fun, but Nick pointed out that Mariah had quickly gotten back up, and he assured Faith that her sister was tough. Faith wanted to see for herself that Mariah was all right, and Nick suggested that Faith call Mariah instead.
Sharon worried that Mariah had a concussion after losing consciousness, but Mariah joked that she'd just closed her eyes in humiliation. Chelsea took the microphone from Mariah, who wasn't sure what had happened. Devon explained that she'd just tripped, and Sharon insisted that Mariah had done great. Hilary asked if Mariah was okay, since the fall had looked really bad. Mariah snapped at Hilary to not pretend that she cared, but Hilary cited the tabloid's liability, stressing that the incident had happened on live television. Hilary sarcastically added that she was sure no one had watched after all the hard work they'd put into promoting the segment.
Mariah blamed herself for not being able to walk well in high heels, but Hilary chalked it up to Devon forcing Mariah into hosting when she hadn't been ready. Hilary chirped that everyone would eventually forget that Mariah had "hit the floor like a dead cockroach." Devon commended Mariah for finishing the broadcast like a pro, but Mariah apologized for ruining Chelsea's dress and the segment. Chelsea expressed relief that Mariah hadn't been hurt, but Hilary remarked that the shoes cost more than Mariah made in a month by brewing coffee and sorting mail. Mariah threw the microphone at Hilary and spat that Hilary could have it if she wanted it that badly.
Sharon asked if Mariah was ready to go to the hospital, but Mariah argued that people there had phones and televisions. Mariah swore that she was fine, and she begged to go home to crawl into bed and never get out. Mariah's phone rang with a call from Faith, and Sharon relayed that Mariah was okay and that they would be home soon. Sharon hung up, and Mariah was mortified to realize that Faith had been watching.
Chelsea, Chloe, and Devon told Mariah to feel better, and Chloe added not to worry about the gossip, since it was nothing compared to being committed to a psychiatric facility. Sharon led Mariah out, and Devon told Hilary that they needed to talk. Chloe half-heartedly remarked that it could have been worse, but Chelsea questioned, "Could it?" Chelsea bemoaned that it was human nature to revel in the misery of others, and her spring line had become a punch line, so the joke was on her.
At Crimson Lights, Summer and Kevin watched the show and couldn't believe what had just happened. Abby arrived, and Summer informed her that Mariah had fallen flat on her face on live television. Summer surmised that Mariah hadn't been hurt because she'd gotten back up, but Kevin worried that Mariah had been in shock. Abby was surprised that Mariah had been hosting the show and modeling a dress, and she asked what had happened to Hilary. Summer credited Mariah for doing surprisingly well, and Abby admitted that it had taken guts for Mariah to finish the show.
Summer hoped the Internet trolls didn't descend, but Abby received a text message and declared that it was too late. Kevin left messages for Mariah, and Abby figured that Mariah could use all the support she could get. Kevin recounted that Mariah had been working hard to make something of herself, and Summer commented that Mariah kind of had. Abby called Mariah an instant Internet sensation, and Summer showed Kevin something on her tablet.
Chloe entered the coffeehouse, and Kevin asked her how Mariah was doing. Chloe was miffed that he hadn't asked her the same thing, and Kevin mentioned that he'd seen the horrible fall. Summer joked that Mariah had stuck the landing, and Chloe admitted that it had been a little funny. Kevin questioned whether he was the only one who cared what had happened, and Chloe reported that Mariah hadn't been hurt. Chloe added that Mariah had handled the situation with dignity and sarcasm and that she was fine, and she wished she could say the same for herself.
Kevin apologized for focusing on Mariah and not stopping to think of what the botched show had meant for Chloe. Chloe said it had been a really big day for her and Chelsea to position the brand to go big, and Kevin thought one little tumble wouldn't change anything. Chloe whined that people had finally started looking at her as more than the crazy chick who'd run a guy down, but Kevin swore that people didn't say that about her. Kevin insisted that Chloe had no idea how special she was, and he called her funny, smart, and sexy. Kevin assured Chloe that she had him, and he wasn't going anywhere.
Chloe thanked Kevin for trying to cheer her up, but she wanted to go home and cuddle up with him and Bella until she had to do damage control the next day. Kevin fretted that he still hadn't heard from Mariah, and Chloe remarked that Mariah was lucky to have him as a friend. Kevin thought Mariah could use all the friends she could get after that night.
Abby and Summer couldn't stop watching a video loop of Mariah's fall, and Summer pondered whether they were bad people for laughing at Mariah. Summer reasoned that Mariah hadn't been hurt and that Mariah had looked amazing doing it, so maybe they shouldn't feel terrible to watch and laugh. Abby figured that it hadn't been the meanest thing she'd ever done, and Summer imagined that if one of them had fallen hard enough to crack the floor, Mariah would have watched it. The women eagerly prepared to watch the video one more time.
Abby said she hadn't laughed that hard in months, and she thought she should do it more often -- but not at the expense of someone else's suffering. She remembered that Summer's birthday was approaching, but Summer preferred to skip it that year. Abby insisted that Summer deserved a day of celebration, and they decided to go to the spa.
Nick arrived at Chelsea's design studio with Christian, and he cracked bad jokes to lighten the mood. Chelsea surmised that he'd watched the broadcast. He feigned ignorance at first, but he eventually admitted that he'd seen the "fashion statement." He figured that Chelsea needed cheering up, but Chelsea thought Mariah needed it even more after falling flat on her face. Nick pointed out that Mariah had landed on her feet, just like he was sure Chelsea would. Chelsea asked if he'd been on social media in the last hour, since a search for her line didn't go to her website but to a big, fat laugh.
Chelsea thought the damage had been done, and she told Nick to take Christian home. Nick refused, since the Chelsea he knew wasn't a quitter. Chelsea wailed that she'd worked her butt off by spending time on the line rather than with her son, and she'd needed the day to be perfect, but it had ended as a joke on the Internet. Nick reminded her of the golden rule that there was no such thing as bad publicity, and he conceded that people were laughing, but they were also remembering Chelsea's line. He suspected that she might end up thanking Mariah for falling on her face.
Chelsea thanked Nick for the pep talk, and she realized that she'd never pictured him as a "glass half-full" type. He recognized how blessed he was, and he figured it was easy to remain optimistic when things kept working out, citing Christian as an example. Nick also credited Chelsea for being a lifesaver from the moment she'd sat with him in the hospital after he'd thought he'd lost Christian, and she'd been there to help him through his grief. She noted that she was still going through hers, and misery loved company. Nick said he was never miserable when he was around her, and he wanted to help her the way she'd helped him. She declared that he already had.
Nick prepared to leave, and Chelsea resolved to try to put a positive spin on things. Nick thought she could do it if anyone could, and he poked fun at himself because he couldn't stop being optimistic. She teased that it was "Supernick" to the rescue, and he asked her to make him a flashy cape. He promised that everything would work out for her, and she wished him a great night. They hugged, and he and Christian headed out.
At the cottage, Mariah watched a video loop that made fun of her fall. Sharon told her to stop looking online, but Mariah complained that her faceplant was like a train wreck that she couldn't look away from. Sharon thought Mariah was doing pretty well if that had been her worst crime, but Mariah lamented that it would be out there for eternity for the whole world to see. Mariah figured that it was karmic payback for taking a job for which she had no experience or training, but Sharon pointed out that Hilary hadn't had any, either. Sharon implored Mariah not to give Hilary the satisfaction of being right, since they all knew Mariah was capable of more than brewing coffee.
Mariah asked about her face, and Sharon replied that it was perfect, as always, but Mariah gasped at her swollen nose when she looked in the mirror. Faith burst in and worriedly asked if Mariah was okay, and Mariah said she was if she ignored her growing nose. Faith declared that Nick had said Mariah was tough, and she thought Mariah looked it. Mariah guessed that Faith and Nick had watched the big moment together, and Faith called it unforgettable. Faith admiringly asked how Mariah had landed right on her face that way, and Mariah pulled her into a hug.
Faith presented Mariah with cookies, and Mariah correctly guessed which ones Faith had made, since Nick's decorating skills needed work. Mariah said she'd save them for later, and Sharon pushed Faith to finish her book report before she went back to her dad's house. Faith requested to spend the night there, and Sharon agreed to call Nick to clear it with him. Faith said she loved Mariah and that she was sorry Mariah had embarrassed herself on television, and she ran upstairs to do her homework.
Mariah wished she could be more like Faith, and she imagined that it was nice to be able to look on the bright side. Sharon insisted that Mariah stop beating herself up, since accidents happened, but Mariah thought she wasn't totally blameless. Mariah acknowledged that she'd been trying hard to stick it to Hilary, but she should have learned to walk in Hilary's shoes before trying to fill them. Sharon was sure that people would forget about the fall, but Mariah checked her phone and announced that she'd become a meme.
Sharon confiscated Mariah's phone because she couldn't stand to watch Mariah torturing herself, but she conceded that Mariah was entitled to a good mope session. Sharon offered to get ice cream and wine, but Mariah preferred pizza and beer. Faith returned and asked if Mariah could help with her book report, but Mariah suggested that Faith ask Sharon, who knew everything. Faith queried why Mariah had fallen, and Mariah replied that she was a klutz. Faith swore that Mariah had looked glamorous on the red carpet, and she theorized that something had made Mariah trip. Mariah flashed back to walking down the runway and waking up to see a smirking Hilary peering down at her.
At GC Buzz, Hilary told Devon not to worry because she forgave him, and he asked for what. She said he'd taught her a lesson by trying to replace her with Mariah, and she recognized that he was the money and that Hilary was the talent. Hilary groaned that the latest show had been cringe-worthy for everyone, but at least she and Devon had ended up on the same page, so everything could get back to normal. Hilary figured he'd made his point by publicly giving her a slap on the wrist, but she was open to returning if he admitted he'd been wrong.
Devon contended that the only mistake he'd made had been where Mariah had been concerned. He maintained that Mariah was bright and funny and that she had a feel for news, but she hadn't been ready to host a live show on her first try. He regretted that he'd kept pushing for it, but Hilary thought nothing had happened that couldn't be fixed, and every decision he'd made could easily be undone. Devon received an alert on his phone and reported that Mariah was trending. Hilary gleefully assumed that things were worse than she'd thought.
Hilary was shocked to hear that public opinion about Mariah was positive, and Devon reported that people were posting that Mariah was their hero. He added that viewers had loved Mariah and the show, but Hilary huffed that she couldn't believe it after Mariah had been a walking disaster. Devon crowed that he'd made the right decision after all. "Go Mariah!" he exclaimed as Hilary steamed.
Reflections on Life's Events
At the Athletic Club, Lily assured Devon that Mariah had done a great job as host. Devon was relieved after he'd seen the comments, but some people were still laughing about Mariah and GC Buzz. At least the comments hadn't been vicious. Lily suggested that Devon needed a host and a show that people could take seriously. Lily said she'd take a laugh over Hilary trashing people's lives. Devon admitted he hadn't been happy when Hilary had been dishing out dirt. He felt there had to be a happy medium. Lily pointed out that Hilary didn't show any interest in a happy medium, and she was adamant that Hilary shouldn't be an option as host.
Devon admitted that Hilary had barely been speaking to him. Lily reminded him that that was the game Hilary played. She would claim to be the victim, but she'd always brought it on herself. Lily warned Devon not to fall for it. She said that GC Buzz tried to destroy her family, but Devon had done the honorable thing by making the show light and fun instead of dark and cynical, which was what Hilary was all about. Devon defended Hilary and disagreed with Lily. He said that Hilary loved being in front of the camera, and she loved the ratings.
Lily warned Devon that Hilary would drag their family through the mud if Devon gave her a platform. She reminded him that he had control, but Devon said he wasn't in control of his marriage or the show, and Mariah had walked away. He knew he wouldn't be able to talk Mariah into returning. He didn't have a host, so the syndicators were airing reruns, and the thing about gossip shows was that it wasn't a rerun business. Lily said it wasn't just about business, and she wanted to know if he wanted kindness or cruelty. Devon said it was actually about his marriage, and the ratings were dropping faster there than his television show. He left.
At home, Sharon tried to help Mariah cover up her black eye with makeup. Mariah called herself an idiot for tripping on national television. Dylan and Faith sneaked in from the kitchen, and Dylan deliberately fell, which made Mariah smile, but Mariah saw through the ruse.
Faith mentioned that Nick had forgotten to pack her favorite riding pants, so Mariah took her upstairs to get another pair. Dylan told Sharon that Nick had been forgetting a lot of things lately.
Sharon asked Dylan to take Faith up to the main house for her riding lesson because she didn't want to listen to Nikki, but Dylan said he had to get to the station. Sharon said she would do it, and she would handle Nikki. Dylan left. Faith screamed, ran down the stairs, and told Sharon that Mariah was trending.
As Sharon and Faith were leaving for Faith's riding lesson, Devon arrived to see Mariah. Mariah told Devon that she'd seen the comments online; some thought she was pathetic, some thought she was adorable, and one guy thought she should start a professional wrestling career. Devon said he needed a host and wanted Mariah back because he had no intention of rehiring Hilary, especially after the lecture he'd received from Lily. Mariah refused. Devon suggested she return until he found a new host, then he would promote her to segment producer with a generous pay bump.
Jack encountered Hilary at the park. Hilary was in a bitter mood. She asked if he'd seen GC Buzz and grumbled that Mariah was a hero to the masses because she'd taken a header on national television. Jack asked if Hilary and GC Buzz had parted ways. Hilary confirmed that Devon had fired her. She claimed she was sick of Devon being so smug, righteous, and pleased with himself. Mariah was someone that Devon could control, even though she had embarrassed herself and GC Buzz. Hilary was upset that Devon hadn't crawled to her and asked her to return. Hilary felt a reasonable boss would have admitted he'd made a colossal mistake and would have begged her to return to the show.
Hilary accused Devon of being judgmental. He always told her how to behave and act, and he always reminded her that he made the money, so he called the shots. She told Jack she would ignore Devon for a week. Jack suggested that she could work for someone else where she wouldn't have the family complications getting in the way of business, emotional manipulation, or hurt feelings. Jack asked if she could see herself on another show.
Hilary said she definitely could because it was what she had been meant to do, and she wanted it badly. Jack suggested that she ask herself why she wanted it. Hilary said when Devon had first asked her to host the show, she hadn't had an answer. When she had arrived in town, she'd lost a lot of her history. She had hidden herself for a long time and had been angry about everything. Then things had changed, and she had become grateful to have people in her life that cared about her. She hadn't expected or asked for more. She had gone from hating the world to being a doormat. Somewhere in the middle, she had found herself, and in a weird way, GC Buzz had done that.
Hilary said she loved the camera and the audience. It felt like she was gossiping with friends over coffee, and it wasn't meant to be harmful. When she sat in her chair and put her microphone on, it felt "so right." She had fans who'd turned on their televisions or phones just to watch her. To have that kind of support from millions was incredible. She wasn't ready to let it go. Hilary knew the support was based on her job, and she was good at it, even if a lot of people thought she was there because she was married to the owner. Jack said Hilary was a natural. Jack asked if she'd be interested in meeting someone that Jack knew who would be unbiased and would take a look at her.
Nikki and Victor arrived at home after a Christmas shopping trip in New York. Nick and Christian arrived a few minutes later. Nick asked Nikki and Victor to watch Christian while he went to get some work done at the Underground. Victor asked Nick to return to Newman Enterprises. He said there would be childcare, and Nick would be able to see Christian all the time. Nick appreciated the offer, but he had his own business to run. Victor suggested that Nick hand over the Underground to Noah. Nick reminded Victor that they were like oil and water when they worked together.
Nick said things were going very well, and he didn't want to return to Newman Enterprises. Victor asked if Nick didn't want to return because of the battles that arose between them. Nick admitted that was true. Victor asked if Nick would return if Victor stepped back and no longer ran the company. Nikki said that Victor wouldn't retire for some time yet. Victor replied that he had been talking about doing it because he wanted to spend more time with Nikki and his grandchildren.
Nick said Victor had walked away from the company a dozen times, but he'd always return, and Victoria and Nick either had to walk away or Victor fired them. Nick suggested that Victor let it go. Victor assured him that he would retire if he knew who would be running the company. Faith and Sharon arrived.
Nikki said that Sharon didn't need to return because they would take Faith home after her riding lesson. Nick glared at Sharon. Sharon apologized and said she hadn't known Nick would be there with Christian. She offered to help Nick with Faith's Christmas costume or to drive her to her pageant. Nick said he had it covered.
Nikki showed Sharon to the door and asked how Sharon could be so brazen. Nikki said that Faith knew her way to the main house, and Dylan could have taken Faith, since she hadn't seen him in a long time. Sharon was surprised to learn that Dylan hadn't paid Nikki a visit. As Sharon walked out, Nikki slammed the door in her face.
Back inside, Faith sang "Jingle Bells," and Nikki accompanied her on the piano. Victor told Faith about his childhood. He became emotional when he said that his mother had been so poor that she'd had to leave him at an orphanage so that he could have a place to eat and sleep. He had waited many years for his mother to return, but she never had. He said he'd seen her the Christmas before she'd died. It had been the only Christmas he'd spent with his mother, and it had been very nice. That had been the best present he'd ever gotten. Faith hugged him.
Nikki couldn't believe that Victor had opened up to Faith about his past. Nick asked if Victor had been talking about his past a lot lately. Nikki admitted those things had clearly been on his mind, so if Victor had been thinking of retiring, they needed to take him at his word. Nick asked if Nikki had planted the seed, but she said she knew better. Anytime she had tried to influence Victor about office matters, Victor would dig his heels in, and it would backfire on her. Nikki said that Victor had to make that decision for himself.
Hilary met with Barry Strickler at the Athletic Club. She told him she was thrilled to meet him on such short notice. Barry told Hilary that he and Jack went way back. Barry admitted that Hilary had great on-camera presence. Lily walked by and noticed Hilary with Barry. Hilary confirmed that she felt most at home in front of a camera and advised him that she had written her own copy for every episode. It felt more organic and personal.
Barry asked why Hilary had left GC Buzz and also wanted to know what had gone wrong. Hilary said nothing had gone wrong, but she'd heard the word nepotism had been thrown out a lot, and she'd felt it would be smarter to move on and show that she was willing to do the work and make it in the business on her own. She wanted to pay her dues.
Hilary told Barry that she didn't have a contract, so she was free to pursue other opportunities. She asked if Barry thought she had what it took. Barry said she was green and smart, the camera loved her, and she had drive. He said there were places that would jump at someone like her. Hilary was delighted when she realized she'd have options. She said there was someone else who needed to hear that.
Mariah arrived at GC Buzz, and in her mind, she replayed her fall. She told Devon that she couldn't host the show. Devon said that the previous day had not been a normal day for them. It had been a live show with a runway, and it had been her first time hosting, but she'd pulled it off like a champ. Mariah stated that it wasn't what she wanted. He needed someone who could stand in front of a camera every day and look at it as a fun and exciting challenge, not a pathway to humiliation. She said she was out.
Hilary floated in and, in a cheerful tone, said, "Hello, beautiful people." She feigned concern for Mariah's black eye. Mariah commented that she told people she preferred her face that way because it added character. Hilary commented that Mariah had tons of character. Mariah added that she'd been promoted to segment producer, and Hilary congratulated her. Devon asked to speak to Hilary alone. Hilary turned to Mariah and told her to put more ice on her eye because no one had that much character. Alone, Mariah replayed her fall again and recalled looking up and seeing Hilary smiling in satisfaction after Mariah's fall.
Devon reminded Hilary that he'd bought GC Buzz for her. Hilary reminded him that he'd fired her. Devon stated the reason he'd fired her was because the end result hadn't been what they'd agreed upon. Hilary said the show had evolved. Devon disagreed and said it had stayed the same -- petty and mean. Hilary felt that Devon had called her petty and mean. Devon clarified it had been directed at the show and not at her.
Devon suggested a compromise, but Hilary had to be willing to change. Hilary said Devon wanted her back only if she did what he told her to. She accused him of trying to control her. He wanted the tone and subject matter changed, but Hilary pointed out that those were both things she brought to the show.
At that moment, Devon received a call from Barry Strickler, who identified himself as Hilary's agent. He said he wished he'd gotten to Hilary sooner. He wanted to confirm that Devon had released Hilary from the show and wanted to make sure there weren't any lingering obligations because offers had been coming in, and they had to pounce on them ASAP. Hilary stood to one side, smiling like a Cheshire cat.
At the park café, Dylan joined Sharon. She told him that Nick and Christian had been at the main house when she and Faith had arrived for Faith's riding lesson. She mentioned that Nikki had denied that she had seen Dylan the previous day. Dylan explained that when he'd gotten to the door, he'd seen Nick and Nikki had been having a cheerful family hug, like they were celebrating that Nick had gotten his son and Dylan had gotten nothing. Dylan said it had hurt. He hadn't been able to face them and had left.
Dylan said he wasn't really one of Nikki's kids because he hadn't grown up with Nikki. He knew Nikki cared about him, but when push came to shove, she was a Newman, and he wasn't. That made all the difference.
Sharon tried to reassure Dylan. She reminded him that he had her, Paul, and Mariah, and Faith adored him. Dylan stated that perhaps he'd been expecting too much from Nikki. Terry and Penelope had been the only parents he'd known. Sharon assured Dylan that Nikki loved him. Dylan said that Nick and Victoria would always be Nikki's priority. He knew how lucky he was with his family and suggested they focus on that and move on.
At Jabot, Lily and Jack discussed plans for the foundation's New Year's gala. Jack was distracted by the Notice of Eviction document in his hand. Lily noticed his distraction and offered to return. Jack apologized and said it was family business. They discussed the pros and cons of mixing family and business.
Sharon and Dylan returned home and commented how quiet it was. Sharon remarked that she had to stop saying that. Dylan agreed with her that it was too quiet. Sharon said there was no Sully, and Faith spent most of her time with Nick. Dylan asked if Sharon was concerned that Nick would shut her out of Faith's life. Sharon said that she and Nick had had visitation issues for Faith's entire life. That was the way it was. Dylan pointed out that the difference was that Faith was her child. Sharon reminded him that Faith was his daughter, as well, and a part of their family, too -- the family she and Dylan had created -- and that wasn't about to change. They hugged.
Devon invests in his future with Hilary
At the Athletic Club, Ashley literally ran into a blonde woman, who became irate when Ashley spilled coffee all over the woman's white suit jacket. Ashley snapped at the woman to watch where she was going, and the woman griped that she'd been about to close a multi-million-dollar listing until Ashley had ruined her custom couture. Ashley told her to shut up and have a nice day, and the women turned away from one another and simultaneously muttered, "What a bitch!"
Later, Ashley offered to pay for the woman's dry cleaning, but the woman sourly recalled that Ashley had implied that the collision had been the woman's fault. Ashley threw in a new outfit at Fenmore's, but the woman bragged that her company would pick up the tab, and she handed Ashley a business card. Ashley learned that the woman's name was Farrah and that she was a real estate agent at a new firm in Genoa City. Farrah suggested that Ashley buy a house if she really wanted to help out, but Ashley declined and headed out.
At Jabot, Billy glared down at a folder in his hand as he stepped off the elevator. He confronted Jack and demanded to know why Jack had sent Brash & Sassy an eviction notice. Jack curtly replied that he was terminating the lease, but Billy protested that Jack had ordered them out by the end of the year. Jack said it was strictly business, but Billy suspected that Jack wanted to keep his little brother in a corner, and Billy wouldn't let him get away with it. Jack swore that it wasn't an effort to punish Billy, and Billy argued that Victoria would also be hurt by the eviction. Billy dared Jack to admit that he was afraid of the competition.
Jack ordered Billy out of his office, and Billy taunted that Jack was accustomed to being the alpha male, so he didn't like to be challenged. Jack huffed that Billy had zero impact on his life, so Jack wasn't afraid of him. Billy questioned why they couldn't work in the same building if he meant nothing to Jack, and he spat that Jack hated competition in the workplace or on the home front. Billy admonished Jack for trying to exclude him from the family, but Jack retorted that family wasn't something just to celebrate at Christmas but to nurture all year and not screw up by "scratching the first juvenile itch."
Ashley walked in as Billy stormed out, and Jack griped that Billy had been being immature and irresponsible. Ashley imagined that something had set Billy off. Jack mentioned the eviction notice, and he declared that Billy had proven that getting Brash & Sassy out was their top priority. Ashley warned that Brash & Sassy would fight the eviction, and Jack vowed to fight back harder. She surmised that it was personal, but he reminded her that she'd been the one who'd said she needed more space.
Ashley argued that she hadn't meant an entire floor, and she questioned whether Jack would have made the decision if Billy hadn't been involved. Jack conceded that he wanted Billy out of his life, but he maintained that it wasn't a devious plan. Jack argued that security was an issue, but Ashley complained that she was tired of her brothers being at one another's throats, and she missed her family. Jack was determined not to make the mistake of trusting Billy again, and he walked off.
At Brash & Sassy, Victoria showed Cane the notice of eviction, and Cane argued that Jack couldn't just rip up their lease. Cane surmised that it was because of Billy, but Victoria theorized that Jack had done it because they were close to developing their new product line. She encouraged Cane not to give up, since they would get their products to market on time, but he questioned whether they'd run the company from their living rooms. Victoria intended to let Jack do his worst, since he had no idea who he was messing with.
Victoria told Cane to stop pacing and to sit down, but he fretted that it was the worst possible timing. Victoria figured that Jack had chosen that time to slow them down because they'd been firing on all cylinders. Cane groaned that Christmas was right around the corner, and he'd already ordered presents, but Victoria ordered him to stop talking like he was out of a job. He thought they should call Jill, but Victoria anticipated that Jill would only make things worse, and she told Cane to focus on his rehab and to trust her. Cane objected to the games Jack was playing, but Victoria contended that Jack wasn't the only one who knew how to play.
Billy entered the office and revealed that he'd swallowed his pride by going to Jack, but it had made Jack even more determined to give them the boot. Victoria started to make a call, but Billy swiped the phone out of her hand and refused to let Victor bail them out. Billy reasoned that Jack couldn't break their lease just because he was having a temper tantrum, and Victoria asked if Billy planned to call his mommy. Billy preferred that Jill not know, and he figured that Ashley would be able to talk sense into Jack. Victoria asked Billy if he was ready to take the kids to the North Pole. Cane couldn't believe that they were leaving, and he told them to ask Santa for a Christmas miracle.
Cane tracked down Ashley to talk about the eviction, and she apologetically stated that Jack's decision was final. Cane recognized that Ashley was considered the conscience of Jabot, so he was there to appeal to her because the situation wasn't fair. Cane compared family dynamics to business, and he warned that having the war continue indefinitely would end up destroying both companies. Ashley admitted that she wanted her family back together, and Cane urged her to stop the eviction, since Jack and Billy had to learn to coexist if they wanted to fix their problems.
Ashley accused Cane of using a family rift to hold onto real estate, but Cane countered that Jack was using it to push them out of the building. Ashley revealed that she'd never liked the idea of Brash & Sassy being there, but Jabot had needed the money, and they didn't anymore. Cane pointed out that the eviction was about a personal vendetta, and he requested that they have more time to relocate. Ashley maintained that it was Jack's call to make, and a dejected Cane headed to the elevator. He left a message for Jill and asked her to call him back as soon as possible.
At Crimson Lights, Katie loaded her hot chocolate with marshmallows and insisted that they tasted like broccoli. Victoria mentioned that Katie had sat on Santa's lap for a long time, and she asked what the kids wanted from Santa. Billy remarked that they'd need a bigger tree if the children got everything they'd asked for on their lists, and he inquired whether Johnny had been a good boy that year. Johnny replied that he had, and he asked whether Billy had been a good boy, too.
Johnny and Katie picked out cookies at the counter, and Victoria thanked Billy for leaving the office to go out with her and the kids. He joked that he'd just wanted to sit on Santa's lap, and he asked if she thought the kids had had a good day. She observed that the tots had been smiling all day long, and he agreed that they'd all seemed happy except when Johnny had asked if Billy had been a good boy. Billy pointed out that he always had the following year to turn things around, and Victoria assured him that she had faith he would.
Billy asserted that the most important thing was to give the kids the best Christmas ever, and Victoria marveled that they were already caught up in the holiday magic. Billy mused that it was hard not to be, and he placed his hand on hers. Victoria uncomfortably pulled away and got up to tend to the children.
At GC Buzz, Devon hung up after a phone call with Barry and asked Hilary if she had an agent, and he wondered why he'd heard it from Barry instead of her. Hilary claimed that she hadn't wanted to say anything until she knew it was legitimate, and Devon informed her that Barry had reported receiving several serious offers on her behalf. She marveled that the agent was just as good as Jack had said he was. Hilary added that unlike her husband, Jack believed in her and trusted her instincts, and Barry had been blown away by her reel. She figured it would be mutually beneficial, since it would keep her away from GC Buzz, and she'd have a successful career.
Devon begged Hilary to stay, and he swore that Jack wasn't the only person who believed in her. Devon reminded her that he'd only gotten into the business because she'd convinced him to do it together, and he suggested that they put the ugliness behind them. He invited her to return to the tabloid, but she complained that it had to be on his terms. Hilary groused that it was another attempt to control her, but Devon insisted that he'd been trying to show off the best in her. She declared that she was at her best when she was Hilary Curtis and not a billionaire's trophy wife.
Hilary explained that Devon had respect because of Katherine's legacy, and she thought he couldn't blame her for wanting to know what it felt like. He asserted that she could find dignity and self-worth right there, and they could create their own legacy that they could both be proud of. He asked her to give it a second chance, but she turned him down, and she started to leave. He inquired whether he'd see her at home, and she coldly questioned whether he was referring to the hotel room they played house in. Mariah walked in, and Hilary congratulated her, since the job was all Mariah's.
Devon pleaded with Mariah to host the show again, but she refused to even entertain the idea. She was surprised that Hilary hadn't jumped at the chance to host again, and she preferred to focus on her new role behind the scenes. Devon understood why Mariah was camera-shy, and she dryly reminded him that the carpet had an imprint of her face. He pointed out that she was still standing and that she'd amassed a huge following online, and he offered her a substantial pay increase. Mariah reluctantly agreed to host the show through the holidays -- as long as she was able to wear her own clothes.
Mariah nervously prepared for the next segment, and a GC Buzz employee assured her that it was just a rehearsal that day. Mariah felt like she was facing a firing squad, but she calmed down when she read through the rundown and saw that the show was about old-fashioned holiday cheer. Mariah said it sounded great as long as she didn't have to wear an elf costume, and the employee waved off a production assistant who had just arrived with one.
Devon sipped a beer at the Athletic Club bar, and Neil remarked that it was a little early to be drinking. Devon bitterly relayed that Jack had set Hilary up with a talent agent who had convinced her that GC Buzz was beneath her. Devon confided that he'd felt like he'd given her everything he had, but he didn't mean money. Devon recounted that he'd believed in her when no one else had, and he'd bought a show for her to prove to the world that she was a star, but they'd ended up in different places. Devon wondered when it would ever be enough, and Neil commented that it would be enough for most women, but he thought Devon had known when he'd married Hilary that she wasn't most women.
Devon was sure that Hilary was the last thing Neil wanted to talk about, but Neil pointed out that he was the perfect person to talk with because he knew better than anyone why Devon had fallen for her. Devon said it wasn't just that she was beautiful and smart, but she had a fire about her and a burning desire to be someone. Neil cautioned that she wasn't a door prize that Devon could put on a shelf, and he added that the heat didn't have to cool off, but it couldn't blaze all the time. Devon realized that everyone risked being burned, and Neil suggested that Devon keep the warmth alive in his marriage and at home. Devon repeated Hilary's words that they didn't have a home, and Neil advised Devon to stop living like a bachelor.
Later, Jack and Neil went over details for their upcoming charity event, and Jack asked Neil to tell Lily that he appreciated everything she'd done. Neil said it was great to have Jack involved, and Jack inquired about whether Hilary had met with Barry. Neil confirmed that Devon had mentioned it, and Jack hoped Devon hadn't minded. Neil confided that Devon and Hilary were at a crossroads, so it was time to for them to pick a direction and make it work.
Jack returned to Jabot, and Ashley informed him that she'd run into Cane and that she'd stood by Jack's decision. Jack thanked her, but he wasn't convinced that she was sold. She agreed with getting Brash & Sassy out of the building, but she preferred to give them more time to move. Jack insisted that the eviction by the end of the year was a done deal, and Ashley found it unsettling that a son of John Abbott could be disturbingly ruthless. Jack conceded that their father had been a great man, but John was dead, and Jack was in charge, so she had to "get used to it." Ashley silently walked out, and Jack gazed at a photo of John.
Hilary met Barry at Crimson Lights, and he asked how her husband had reacted. Hilary reported that Devon had been surprised that she'd had several offers, but he hadn't known that Barry had been bluffing. Barry suggested that he didn't have to be, since she was good enough for any of them to turn out to be legitimate. Barry offered to become her agent, and Hilary appreciated his vote of confidence, but she thought everything was going as planned. Barry asked what her endgame was, and she announced that she was going to watch her husband grovel.
Barry revealed that he'd only met Hilary as a favor to Jack, but he had no doubt that she possessed an "it" factor. He told her to call him if she ever decided to get real about her career, and he left his card behind. Hilary picked up the card and smiled.
Later, Hilary entered Nick and Sage's old penthouse and called out for Devon. Devon appeared and excitedly greeted her with a kiss, and he introduced her to Farrah. Farrah gushed that Devon had to love Hilary a lot to buy her the place, and Devon announced that he wanted to stop playing make-believe in a hotel. A stunned Hilary asked if he'd bought the penthouse, but Farrah clarified that he'd purchased the entire building. Farrah congratulated them on their new home, and she stepped out.
Devon marveled that it was where their life could really begin, and they could start a family there. Hilary hoped he could get his deposit back, and she declared that he'd be living alone if he lived there. Devon acknowledged that he should have discussed it with Hilary beforehand, but he'd thought she would be happy. She spat that it wasn't a real home but a gift to keep her in line, and she condemned him for making a huge purchase without consulting her. Hilary asserted that she should have had a say in their life together, but she felt like she was along for the ride to smile and thank him whenever he whipped out his checkbook.
Devon apologized and swore that he hadn't bought the building to win Hilary's gratitude -- he'd bought it because he loved her and wanted her to be happy. He implored her to at least look around to see if she liked it, and she begrudgingly admitted that it had potential. Devon offered to back away from the deal as long as she remained his wife, partner, and best friend. She noted that the place needed some paint, and she envisioned minimalist artwork on the walls. She smiled, and he realized that she liked it.
Hilary proclaimed that she and Devon had found their first home, and he pulled her into his arms and said he couldn't wait to start a life there with her. She stressed that it didn't mean that she was going back to work. They embraced.
Phyllis changes her hair color
At the hair salon, Phyllis swiveled around in her chair, and Summer gushed over Phyllis' blonde hair. Phyllis thanked the stylist, and she told Summer that it had been way past time for a change and that she hadn't wanted to be red anymore. Summer said her mother looked gorgeous, and she commented that it was a new look to ring in the new year. Phyllis declared that she had a new attitude and maybe a new job, since she'd been working on a project for Fenmore's, but she requested that Summer keep it to herself.
Phyllis explained that she'd finally gotten it through her skull that it was time to move on, and it felt good. Phyllis acknowledged that she'd made the mistake of a lifetime, but it was time to live again. She pledged to be smarter that time around. Phyllis prepared to celebrate Summer's birthday that day, but Summer decided there would be no cake that year, since she was just looking forward to the year being over. Phyllis asked if there was something Summer wanted to do. Summer imagined drinking a margarita on the beach, but it wouldn't happen during winter in Genoa City. Phyllis proposed having dinner together, and they hugged.
At the Newman ranch, Victor asked Nikki if Christian was there, and she reported that the baby was sleeping upstairs. Victor planned to take the boy to the stables or the pond later, and Nikki was surprised that Victor wasn't going to the office. He reminded her that he'd talked about pulling back. She admitted that she hadn't believed it, but she noted that he'd changed a lot recently, especially after Adam's death. Nikki recalled that Victor's way of dealing with loss had been to throw himself into work, but he was different.
Victor stared at a photo of Adam and wished Adam were alive to start his life over again. Nikki suspected that Victor was feeling more than grief, and Victor recognized that Adam would still be alive if it hadn't been for him. Nikki realized that Victor wasn't at the office because being there made him think about how things might have been with Adam as his heir to run Newman. Victor recounted that he'd spent his whole life building the company to leave a legacy for his children, but none of them were interested in following in his footsteps. Nikki assured Victor that his kids admired what he'd accomplished, but Victor reiterated that none of them wanted to take over for him.
Nikki argued that Victoria had loved working at Newman and had looked forward to taking over the company, but Victor had chased her away. Victor acknowledged that Nikki was right, and he bemoaned that no one was left. Nikki pointed out that Abby and Summer both loved working there, but Victor noted that neither of them was ready to run a multinational corporation. Nikki sympathized that it was hard for him, but she stressed that his children loved him and knew he loved them. She added that Nick and Victoria had spent their entire lives watching him sacrifice things for the company's good, and they'd chosen to live their lives by spending more time with their families. Nikki and Victor hugged.
At the Underground, Nick flipped on the lights and gazed around at the familiar surroundings. He discovered a flyer for the bar's theme nights, and Noah asked what Nick was doing there. Nick thought it was time to start living a normal life again, since the new year was about fresh starts. Nick added that he'd appreciated the way Noah had stepped up so that Nick had been able to spend time with Christian, and Noah replied that he'd just been doing his job. Nick insisted that he was proud, and he recognized that sons needed to hear that from their fathers sometimes. Noah joked that he'd be proud if Nick helped restock the bar, but Nick grinned and said he was on a break.
Nick said he'd missed hanging out and working with Noah, but Noah good-naturedly pointed out that he'd been the only one working around there. Nick was amazed at how good the books looked, and he figured it had something to do with the trivia nights and live music that Noah had arranged. Noah recognized that he should have run the ideas by Nick first, but Nick asserted that he trusted Noah's instincts. Nick recalled what it had been like to work with his old man and have his judgment questioned, and he thought being at the Underground rather than at Newman was better for his relationship with Victor.
Nick explained that getting Christian back had made him realize that he had to start living again, and Noah inquired how things were between Nick and Sharon. Noah understood that Nick was angry at her and didn't want her near Christian, but he argued that it was the holidays. Nick scoffed at the thought of just forgiving her, but Noah voiced concern that Faith was caught in the middle. Nick contended that Sharon had created the situation, and he was doing the best he could. Noah thought there had to be some way to work things out, since they were still a family, no matter what.
Nick grumbled that Sharon had blown up the idea of family when she'd tried to build a fake one with his son and Dylan. Nick recounted that Sharon had watched him grieve and had done nothing, but Noah maintained that there had to be a way to make peace. Nick said he was just trying to put one foot in front of the other by taking care of Christian and making sure Faith felt safe, but Noah asserted that Sharon had been through a lot, and he was sure that Nick had it in him to forgive her. Nick recalled that he'd forgiven Sharon many times, but she had chosen to lie and then had fought to spend time with the son she'd stolen from him, so he was nowhere close to forgiving her.
Later, Nick heard someone enter the bar, and he called out that they weren't open yet. He was stunned when he looked up and saw a blonde Phyllis, and she quipped that she could start having more fun. She hoped the new year was full of changes, and he noted that they were both getting their lives back on track. She reported that Summer needed their help, since their daughter wanted to ignore her birthday. Phyllis asked if he was in, and Nick declared that he was way ahead of her.
Summer stopped by the ranch, and Nikki hugged her and wished her a happy birthday. Summer presented Nikki with a porcelain angel to add to her Christmas decorations, and Nikki placed it on the mantel. Nikki gifted Summer with a coat that she'd purchased in New York, and Summer exclaimed that she'd gone nuts for it when she'd seen pictures of it in a fall runway show. Nikki explained that she'd wanted to show how special Summer was, since Summer had had a difficult year, but she'd emerged from it strong, just like a Newman would. Nikki continued that Summer had everything ahead of her, and the sky was the limit. Nikki encouraged Summer to go out there and do whatever she wanted, since Summer would be strong enough to deal with whatever life threw at her.
Victor admired Summer when she modeled the coat, and he said her smile was thanks enough. Nikki mentioned that they'd been chatting about what was in store for the following year, and Summer anticipated working hard at Newman and being at the top of her business classes. After Summer left to finish her Christmas shopping, Victor had difficulty imagining that Phyllis was Summer's mother, and Nikki clucked that Christmas meant extending goodwill toward everyone. Nikki received a text message from Nick, who revealed that he and Phyllis were having a surprise birthday party for Summer. Nikki added that they were invited but only if Victor was on his best behavior. Victor promised to try his hardest.
Noah threw a beach ball at Nick as they decorated the bar. Noah said he'd sent a text message to Summer to ask her for a ride because his car had supposedly broken down, and Nick hoped the guests arrived before the birthday girl did. Nikki and Victor entered with Christian, and Nick pulled Nikki aside to get photos of the baby in a party hat. Victor approached Noah, who curtly said he had to finish getting things ready. Victor admitted that it had been a mistake to try to throw Noah in jail, and he hoped they could put their differences behind them for the evening.
Victor mentioned that Noah had been doing a wonderful job running the place, and Noah stated that he and Nick would always have one another's backs. Victor recognized that Noah was angry with him, but he insisted that he loved Noah and believed in him. He indicated that the door would be open if Noah ever wanted to return to Newman. Noah remarked that some guys weren't meant for suits and executive suites, but Victor urged him to think about it and excused himself to take a call.
Noah joined Nikki and Nick, and Abby walked in and fawned over Christian. Abby wondered where Faith was, and Nick reported that Faith was at the final rehearsal for her Christmas recital. Nikki planned to save a big piece of cake for Faith, and Nick realized they still needed a cake. Phyllis entered with one, and everyone stared in stunned silence at her hair. Nikki stammered that the new color was very becoming, and they heard Summer in the entryway. The group yelled, "Surprise!" and took turns hugging Summer. Noah made margaritas to go along with the beach-themed party. Phyllis headed toward Nick's office to get some candles, but she ran into Victor.
Victor remarked that Phyllis' hair looked nice, and he hoped they could keep things civil for her daughter's sake. Phyllis confirmed that the day was all about Summer, and that was why she'd agreed that Victor should be invited. She stepped into the office, and Nikki approached Victor and asked if everything was all right. He replied that the best way to keep things fine was to stay as far away from Phyllis as possible.
Summer wished that everyone in her family could get along, and Abby toasted to Summer's birthday. The women complimented Noah's margaritas, and Summer asked if he was happy working there with Nick. Noah said Nick trusted him to make decisions, and the bar was the only family business he wanted to be part of. Abby declared that there was no place she'd rather be than at Newman, and she took pride in working together. Summer chirped that it was cool to be part of something big, and Noah wished them the best of luck in the shark tank.
Nick pulled Summer aside, and he and Phyllis presented Summer with some tropical photos. Nick announced that their gift to her was sending her anyplace in the world that she wanted to go, and Summer squealed in delight. Phyllis stepped aside to get the cake ready, and Nick told Summer that he was proud of her. He recognized that it had been a challenging year, but she'd handled it with strength and heart, and her heart never ceased to amaze him. Summer credited her good genes, and she scurried off to tell Noah about her gift. Nick thanked Victor and Nikki for being there and for keeping the peace by getting along with Phyllis. He added that it didn't get any better than celebrating together, and he smiled as he watched Summer and Noah play with Christian.
The Newmans sang "Happy Birthday" to Summer, and Nick told her to make a wish. Summer marveled that she already had an amazing family, and Noah joked that everything else was icing on the cake. Summer closed her eyes and made a wish, and she blew out the candles. Noah asked what she'd wished for. She said it was none of his business, but she'd let him know when it happened. Christian sampled the cake, and Summer playfully wiped frosting on Nick's cheek. Nikki dotted Victor's nose with some frosting, and everyone laughed.
At Brash & Sassy, Billy arrived as men were hauling out boxes. Billy asked what was going on, and Cane reported that the guys were helping them move. Billy protested that they'd agreed to find a solution to the eviction, but Cane revealed that he hadn't called the movers -- Jack had. Billy told the movers that no one had given them permission to move Brash & Sassy's property, but Cane instructed the men to ignore Billy while they waited for Victoria to get there.
Victoria stormed into Jack's office and demanded answers, since it was ridiculous for him to expect Brash & Sassy to find space by the end of the year, and they'd entered into the lease in good faith. Jack replied that things had changed, and he pointed out that he'd offered to cover expenses to help with the move. Victoria accused him of wanting revenge, but Jack swore that he wasn't like her father, and he didn't want innocent people to be caught in the middle. Jack swore that the last thing he wanted was to hurt her or her children, and she asked him to reconsider what he was doing to her and her company. He asserted that it was just business, and the decision had been made.
Victoria refused to leave until they resolved things, but Jack maintained that that ship had sailed. Jack reminded her that he'd done Brash & Sassy a favor by letting them move in, and Victoria said she appreciated it, but moving the company during a critical time wouldn't be good. She suspected that he wanted to undercut them, and she lectured that good rivals created good competition but didn't tear one another apart. Cane called Victoria and insisted that she get downstairs right away.
Victoria hurried downstairs and incredulously asked if Billy and Cane were just letting the movers pack things up, and Billy relayed that he'd tried to stop them, but Cane had stopped him. Jack entered, and Victoria chided him for calling in movers. She wondered when Jack had become a bully, but he declared that he wasn't heartless. Jack insisted that he'd been trying to help, since Christmas was around the corner, and he figured that they'd want to finish the move in time to enjoy the holidays with their families. Victoria seethed.
Victoria vowed to fight the eviction, and Jack gave the trio credit for appealing to Ashley. Billy mumbled that at least Ashley had a conscience, but Jack barked that insulting him wouldn't help, and they were to have the place cleared out by the time they left on New Year's Eve. Later, Jack stared at his computer, and someone entered his office. "What took you so long?" he asked.
Cane, Billy, and Victoria made calls to try to find new office space, to no avail. Billy lamented that they needed real space to make the company work, and Victoria pointed out that they had a temporary fix by using offices at Newman. Billy continued to vehemently oppose the idea, and he insisted that they could do better. Victoria thought they couldn't, and she wondered why they were arguing about it. Billy retorted that he was fighting for their company, and he thought she, of all people, would understand that.
Billy insisted that they push back instead of letting Jack run over them, but Victoria objected to dragging the company into the muck because he couldn't get along with his brother. Billy swore that they could fix it together, but they had to take a stand, and he suggested going to court. Victoria thought they'd be wasting time by fighting a losing battle in court when they had a new product line and app that they had to focus on. Billy said he knew what the company meant to her, and he refused to let Jack grind them under his heel.
Billy implored Victoria and Cane to trust him to fix it, but Cane protested that Billy was too emotionally involved. Billy countered that it was better than running to "mommy" with their problems, and he could handle things without interference from Jill. Victoria told the men to stop, but Billy urged Cane to use his fury to fight Jack and not him. Billy argued that it was about principle, but Cane snapped that if Billy had principles, then he wouldn't have slept with Jack's wife. Cane bellowed that Billy had been a liability since Jill had hired him, and Billy retorted that Cane had been a mercy hire. Cane snapped that at least he didn't drag the company down like Billy did.
Billy accused Cane of just wanting to make sure he could pay off his expensive new car, and Cane countered that at least he didn't blow his money on the horses. Victoria covered her ears as the men continued to bicker, and Cane called Billy a loser who was always doing stupid things. Victoria suddenly cleared off the contents of a table with her arm, and glassware shattered on the floor. Billy tried to take Victoria into his arms, but she pushed him away.